Control and track axonal growth and axonal pathfinding over time
The development of the nervous system is one of the most fascinating and at the same time least understood biological processes. FluidFM technology provides a new tool in studying axonal guidance and axonal outgrowth for in-vitro research at the single-neuron level. By combining unique nanoprinting, injection, extraction, and single cell placing technologies, FluidFM technology allows to:
Create customized patterns to study axonal guidance and outgrowth forming neuronal circuits
Precisely and locally dispense or inject neuromodulators or other soluble substances to study intra-cellular axonal trafficking
Manipulate single neurons to establish in vitro disease models for neurological disorders
Study axonal guidance and outgrowth with FluidFM
FluidFM enables creating customized patterns of, for example, attractive and repellent signals and hence the formation of neuronal circuits in vitro in a controlled manner. Also, using its injection feature, individual neurons can be transfected which opens new possibilities in studying individual genes and proteins in a single or multicellular context.
Image shows PLL line in green, printed with FluidFM between two groups of neurons. In red, neurite growth driven by PLL can be seen. Image courtesy of Harald Dermutz, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
The series of image above shows HeLa-GFP cells before, during, and after extraction of cytosolic content by a FluidFM Nanosyringe. Image courtesy of Orane Guillaume-Gentil, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Study intra-cellular axonal trafficking with FluidFM
With FluidFM soluble molecules can be administered on or into the cell at any location of the cell, even directly into the nucleus. Hence local dispensing of neuromodulators at the growth cone or anywhere at the axon is possible. Likewise, FluidFM also allows to extract material from the cell while keeping the cell viable e.g. for further observation or a consecutive extraction. This is particularly interesting for time-consecutive proteome or transcriptome analysis or single cell sequencing.
Studying neurological disorders with FluidFM
FluidFM provides a new comprehensive tool to create in vitro disease models for diseases and research in the neuroscience field. By its single cell manipulation technology, it is possible to transfect or even genetically engineer single neurons or other hard-to-transfect cells. Furthermore, by its nanoprinting and single cell pick-and-place features it allows placing specific individual cells, even cells from different wells, next to each other to study cell-cell interactions and communication or creating neuronal circuits between specific cells. And finally, one can also study the characteristics of single cells upon mechanical or chemical stimulation by dispensing or even cytosolic or nuclear injection of neuromodulators or any other soluble compounds.
Neuron expressing GFP 24h after injection of a plasmid encoding GFP using FluidFM. Image courtesy of Sen Yan, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.